Dental scaling is part of the preventive examination at the dentist. Info on the treatment process, costs & savings tips you will learn in this guide.
Tartar forms when minerals from saliva harden on the surface of the teeth.
You should have tartar removed regularly, as it can do great damage to the dentition and cause dental problems in the long run.
- On the one hand, you can counteract the formation of tartar with proper dental care.
- On the other hand, the already formed tartar can be removed with simple and painless methods.
How to prevent tartar and what the procedure of a professional tartar removal at the dentist looks like, I explain in this post.
You will also find out what costs you will incur and why tartar removal is worthwhile in any case.
Difference: tartar and plaque
Tartar and plaque are not the same thing. Just remember that plaque is a precursor to the more stubborn tartar.
Tartar is very stubborn and only your dentist can remove it.
Plaque is formed by microorganisms on the plaque. Food residues, especially sugar, promote this formation. You can recognize plaque by yellow discoloration on your teeth.
Plaque is not a major dental problem, and you can remove it with good oral hygiene. This may be easier said than done!
Because if you only brush with a conventional toothbrush, you’ll neglect hard-to-reach areas where microorganisms develop into calcifications.
And that’s exactly what leads to tartar.
Tartar can only be removed by a dentist. This is especially recommended because tartar can cause gingivitis, periodontitis and inflammation of the tooth bed.
Tartar removal at the dentist
Once affected by tartar, it can only be cleaned by a dentist using appropriate equipment.
While you can prevent tartar with thorough dental care and the home remedies listed below, you cannot remove tartar from your home by yourself.
That requires professional tartar removal at your dentist’s office.
How does your dentist professionally remove tartar?
- A dentist uses instruments and other equipment specifically designed for tartar to clean your tooth surface and interdental spaces.
- Through a process called ‘deep scaling,’ he removes hard-to-reach areas under your gums and rids you of tartar.
- Followed by this, he uses the procedure called ‘Air Flow’. With a powder jet device, he can thus remove the remaining yellow to brownish discoloration – coffee, nicotine and wine say hello – remove.
The result is a smooth tooth surface, which no longer provides space for the formation of new plaque or new tartar.
As a rule, your dentist will polish rough spots on your teeth smooth with a pasta containing fluoride, thus preventing the possible formation of new plaque and tartar as a result.
After that, he seals your teeth with fluoride varnish to ensure that the protection lasts as long as possible.
Is tartar removal painful?
Tartar removal does not usually cause pain.
Your teeth are cleaned superficially and your dentist stays away from dental nerves. The only thing you might find ticklish or slightly painful is the jet as it touches your gums during cleaning.
There is therefore no need for anesthesia or follow-up treatment.
So you don’t need to be afraid or worried, as scaling is part of your routine annual checkup and you don’t have to worry about any pain in the process.
Cost of dental scaling
Tartar removal is not an aesthetic treatment, but rather a health necessity.
That’s why health insurance covers the cost of tartar removal once a year.
One scaling per year is free.
But keep in mind that a professional dental cleaning goes far beyond routine scaling, and you will be responsible for the additional cost.
- Health insurance companies have been required by law to cover the cost of dental scaling once a year since 2005.
- A thorough tartar removal with all the trimmings costs between $50 and $10 on average.
- The cost of a second scaling in the same year depends on the treatment method of your dentist.
As you can see, it pays to have your tartar removed by your dentist at least once a year. If you feel that you need a second cleaning, you should check the cost with your dentist or health insurance company before treatment.
How to prevent tartar effectively
You can counteract tartar with a few simple tools and tips.
The best way to prevent tartar is with an electric toothbrush. These clean more thoroughly than regular manual toothbrushes. I like to use the Sonciare Diamond Clean.
Just make the following items part of your dental care routine:
- Brush your teeth thoroughly and twice (2 to 4 minutes) – preferably with an electric toothbrush.
- Clean your interdental spaces at least once a day with dental floss or an oral irrigator.
- Choose medium-hard plastic bristles for your toothbrush.
- Use a medium-sized brush head that allows you to easily reach the spaces between your teeth.
- Use the right toothpaste.
- Complete your dental care with a mouth rinse.
I also recommend that you have a routine checkup with your dentist every 6 months – or at least once a year.
Home remedies for tartar
You may be able to successfully combat tartar with home remedies, but they are by no means a substitute for the dentist.
I have 5 tips for you that you can use to counteract tartar naturally:
- Mustard oil: The oil is said to have antibacterial properties and protect against bad breath and bacteria that cause tartar. Rinse your mouth with the oil or rub it into your gums with the help of absorbent cotton.
- Cloves: The oils extracted from cloves are also said to have antibacterial properties and be effective against bleeding gums , bad breath as well as plaque. If you eliminate plaque, you also avoid the formation of tartar.
To do this, pour the cloves with hot water and rinse your mouth thoroughly with the decoction after 20 minutes of infusion.
- Lemon juice: The juice of lemon is said to have a blistering and antibacterial effect and help against yellowish discoloration as well as tartar. Mix warm water with lemon juice and rinse the mouth at least once with it.
- Salt solution:Mouthwashes have been used since time immemorial for almost all problems in the mouth. To what extent the alleged antiseptic effect of salt can help against tartar is a question mark, but it is worth a try in my estimation.
Simply add salt to hot water and rinse the mouth once or twice with the prepared salt solution.
- Mixture of aloe vera, lemon juice and glycerin:This vegetable-based mixture offers itself as an effective remedy against tartar.
Use the mixture best as a toothpaste to remove yellow stains and bad breath. To prepare, mix all three ingredients until a homogeneous mass is formed. Use the cream to clean teeth twice a day for several weeks.
Foods that promote tartar
Some foods promote the formation of tartar.
Microorganisms that thrive in the mouth process carbohydrates in food. This is especially the case with sugary foods or beverages.
Sugar promotes tartar.
Bacteria form harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. This then leads not only to plaque buildup, but also to dental problems like tooth decay.
Conclusion: Have tartar removed at least 1x per year
Professional tartar removal at the dentist is part of routine preventive care. I advise you to have it done once a year by your dentist
While you can prevent tartar by removing plaque with good dental hygiene and some home remedies,
- You cannot remove tartar yourself. For that, you need to go to your dentist.
- The cost of tartar removal is covered by health insurance once a year.
- Don’t worry, because the treatment is usually painless and quickly done.
- As a result, you will have smooth and brighter teeth again.
Don’t forget that you can avoid tartar and other dental problems by taking good care of your teeth.
Brushing your teeth with the right toothbrush and flossing – or oral irrigators like the Waterpik WP 660 – contribute significantly to healthy teeth.
If you want to prevent tartar effectively, then you should also use an electric toothbrush instead of an ordinary manual toothbrush. Because these clean demonstrably more thoroughly.
You can find the current test winners in the comparison of electric toothbrushes. My personal favorites are the Sonicare Diamond Clean as well as the Oral-B Genius 9000.
Tip: Cheap models, by the way, you get already under $50. Learn my recommendations.